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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 16:20
Transatlantic reserve training

Clearing an area of dense forest for Osprey helicopters to use [Picture: UK MoD]


24 June 2014 Ministry of Defence


British Army reservists join American colleagues for 2-week exercise.


Commandos from 131 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers, an Army Reserve squadron which provides engineering support to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, took part in a 2-week exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, USA.

Exercise Red Dagger 14 involved 65 commandos in total working alongside 60 marines from the US Marine Corps (USMC) and focused on integration between the 2 units and cross-training on US weapons and equipment.

Major Mark Normile, officer commanding 131 Commando, said:

The challenges of this exercise have tested everyone involved. This is a unique opportunity to train our reservists and prepare them to deploy and work alongside our US colleagues. It also provides everyone with an experience they won’t forget.

For Sapper Dan Lansley, aged 20, this was his first overseas exercise with 131 since passing the commando course in May. He said:

It’s been great working with the US marines. The highlight of the exercise so far has been the helicopter landing site, where we used heavy plant, chainsaws and explosives to clear a 100-metre-square area of dense forest for Osprey helicopters to use.

Training ranged from small arms and heavy weapons familiarisation shoots to demolition ranges. And it wasn’t just the British reservists who took something away from this overseas exercise.

Captain Ethan Akerberg, operations officer of Engineer Company C from 6th Engineer Support Battalion USMC, highlighted the benefits:

We’re used to working alongside other forces, especially in Afghanistan, but this is the first time we’ve operated with the Brits in such a close manner.

We have planned and executed this exercise in unison, and our soldiers and marines, operating in mixed squads under some very challenging conditions, have bonded very well.

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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 07:35
CARAT Malaysia 2014 Concludes
June 23, 2014 U.S. Navy

The 20th Annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise Malaysia 2014 concluded June 21. 

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18 juin 2014 3 18 /06 /juin /2014 11:20
Suite à un problème majeur, tous les F-35 sont cloués au sol


15 juin 2014 portail-aviation.com


Le NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command), organisme dépendant de la Marine américaine et qui gère le programme F-35C de l’US Navy et F-35B de l’US Marine corps a décidé de suspendre les vols de tous ces appareils suite à un problème majeur. Le 10 juin, un F-35B volant à proximité de la base de Yuma a déclaré une urgence suite à une fuite d’huile sur son moteur. Peu de temps après, l’US Air Force a décidé de faire de même, et l’a confirmé auprès du très sérieux média Jane’s.


Suite de l’article

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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 16:45
Senegalese commandos, US marines train together


12 June 2014 by Africom


The open water was rough, but so were the commandos. The boats were rigid, but so was their desire to complete the training.


The Commandos are Senegalese, from the Compagnie de Fusilier Marine Commandos who took part in a six-week long training mission with a group of U.S. Marines in April and May.


The course was designed to enable the Senegalese to train their own forces in infantry and amphibious tactics and culminated in Dakar, Senegal, at the end of May.


The maritime security, force assistance mission was planned to promote partnership between the United States and Senegal and to enable the host nation to better address security challenges. To accomplish this Marines stationed at Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa’s West Africa desk planned to have the Commandos completely take over the responsibility of instructing their peers by 2014.


As part of that long term plan, the Marines spent four weeks in February working with what they call a "cadre" of Senegalese instructors. It was this cadre that took over the training in April with the Marines purely in a supervisory position.


The six-week long training regimen spanned three different cities across Senegal to simulate operations across a wide array of terrain.


The six week-long training regimen began April 15, with a two-week period of instruction where the Marines and COFUMACO focused on maritime security force assistance, marksmanship exercises, patrolling techniques and small-boat tactics and skills.


The second two-week period saw the COFUMACO completely take over the training of a new group of Commandos. The US Marines stepped back and took on an advisory role as the cadre ran their own training pipeline for the next four weeks.


That four-week programme focused on the same skills the cadre had previously perfected while training with the Marines.


According to Captain Travis Posey, the Marine security co-operation team’s officer-in-charge, the shift to a Senegalese-led training programme was by design and fell in line with Marine Forces Europe and Africa’s and Marine Corps Security Co-operation Group’s long term security co-operation plan for partnering with Senegal.


“We knew going into this mission there had been a great emphasis put on developing the COFUMACO, but we were constantly surprised with just how quickly the cadre improved. It is a great success story anytime a partner nation can take the next step forward in combating threats more effectively,” said Posey.


According to the CIA World Factbook, Senegal’s coastline is 531 km long; with a coastline roughly equal that of to the island of Puerto Rico, the importance of developing the nation’s amphibious inter-operability is obvious.


The infantry Marines were able to teach their counterparts in infantry and amphibious tactics because they had several trained coxswains on their team. A coxswain is a Marine who is trained to operate a Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft and its associated equipment.


As part of their pre-deployment training, the boat operators attended a course at their home station, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that qualified the Marines in how to operate the CRRC.


According to Corporal Adam Newby, one of the TSC Team boat operators, the training he received at Camp Lejeune prepared him well to impart his skills on others. It was also a representation of a larger shift back to the Marine Corps’ amphibious roots.

“Beach landings were a big part of the (coxswain’s) course,” he said. On transferring his stateside training to his Senegalese partners, Newby said: “Everything we trained on in Senegal was leading up to conduct a beach raid. Being a coxswain is a rare opportunity. We’re able to be employed from ships or aircraft. Being able to be employed like that provides a great tactical advantage.


“The COFUMACO mentioned throughout our time together that, based on some of their experiences, they would have had a tactical advantage if they could’ve been employed by boat,” said Newby. “Being able to get in a boat and be confident, not only that but to land it and conduct a raid, that’s the greatest takeaway from the training.”


The Marines, from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, are currently assigned to Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14 and are tasked with supporting Marine Forces Europe and Africa and US Africa Command by carrying out theatre security co-operation missions in various African countries in order to build partnerships and the capacity to address regional security concerns.

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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 07:45
US Marines deployed at US embassy in Nairobi as regional terror threat persists


06 June 2014 by Oscar Nkala - defenceWeb


The US Marine Corps has re-deployed a number of marines to the US Embassy in the Kenyan capital Nairobi following US and regional intelligence reports suggesting that American interests may be attacked shortly by al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al Shabaab.


According to the Marine Corps Times, the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea has confirmed reports which have been circulating in the past two months suggesting that al Shabaab has plans to attack US interests including the embassies in Nairobi and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Military installations at Manda Bay, Kenya and Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti are also listed among potential targets in East Africa.


The deployment follows a series of bomb and grenade blasts which have killed dozens of people and left more injured in Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa. The attacks, which have been blamed on al Shabaab, were followed up last week with a double-grenade attack which struck a cafe in Djibouti City, killing two people.


Eleven people, including naval servicemen from France, Spain and the Netherlands were injured in the attack. Addressing US citizens in Kenya at a meeting in Nairobi last week, US ambassador Robert Godec said the embassy is fully aware of the threat it faces from al Shabaab.


"We know that there is a threat, and we know it is serious," Ambassador Godec said. He added that as a precaution, the embassy is continually evaluating and updating its security based on threat-information analysis. He advised U.S. citizens to avoid congregating in large groups at bars or restaurants, especially when watching the upcoming soccer World Cup.


Godec said the embassy is also considering scaling back the number of US diplomatic personnel stationed in Kenya partly by reducing staff at, or moving the East African mission of its biggest aid agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from Kenya to another country.


The US embassy in Nairobi has been operating under the shadow of a terrorist threat since August 1998 when it was hit by a truck bomb which killed 200 people. A simultaneous blast also destroyed the US embassy in the Tanzanian capital. Both blasts were blamed on al Qaeda.


Nairobi embassy chief security officer Marion Cotter was quoted by Kenyan media saying the terror threat in Kenya has risen alarmingly since the first improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the country in August 2012.


In a related development, the Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service and the Police Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JTF) yesterday announced that they had broken up two terrorist cells and arrested 25 individuals who were plotting terror attacks in the capital Addis Ababa.


All the detainees are suspected of having links to al Qaeda and al Shabaab. The Ethiopian security services said the cells were broken followed the arrest of man who was found preparing to carry out a bomb attack on an undisclosed target in Addis Ababa.


It came two days after simultaneous terror alerts which were issued on Tuesday by the US and Canadian embassies based on what government security officials in Toronto and Washington described as 'credible' reports warning of imminent terror attacks on Western interests in Ethiopia.

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27 mai 2014 2 27 /05 /mai /2014 08:20
Le Dixmude participe à l’entraînement franco-américain NARVAL


26/05/2014 Marine nationale


La 2nd Marine Division (USMC) et la 6ème brigade légère blindée (BLB) ont réalisé, du 21 au 23 mai 2014, un entraînement de planification d’une opération amphibie de niveau Commander Landing Force (CLF) à bord du Bâtiment de projection et de commandement (BPC)  Dixmude, depuis la base navale de Toulon, à la fois à quai et en mer.


L’exercice NARVAL avait pour objectifs la connaissance mutuelle des deux états-majors, la présentation des méthodes de travail amphibie française via un exercice de planification embarqué et une présentation des traditions des unités de la brigade.


L’enjeu de cette opération était de partager les techniques, modes d’action et modes de planification en matière d’opérations amphibies. Depuis février 2014, dans le cadre du partenariat entre la 6ème BLB et l’USMC, des officiers français assistent régulièrement à des exercices de l’USMC, et inversement. Autre illustration de cet échange : trois à quatre fois par an, une compagnie de Marines effectue un exercice terrestre tactique à Nîmes en binômage avec une compagnie appartenant à la 6ème BLB.


Au-delà d’un simple échange de savoir-faire, cet exercice illustre pleinement la coopération interarmées et interalliée caractéristique d’un BPC comme le Dixmude.

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17 avril 2014 4 17 /04 /avril /2014 08:20
Photos SGC K. Congini - Armée de l'Air

Photos SGC K. Congini - Armée de l'Air


16/04/2014 Sources : EMA


Du 27 mars au 2 avril 2014, sur la base aérienne 188 de Djibouti, l’escadron de chasse 3/11 « Corse » des forces françaises stationnées à Djibouti (FFDj) a effectué un exercice aérien, en coopération avec un détachement des US Marines de la 22th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).


La première partie de cet exercice, baptisé « Monfreid », avait pour objectif d’entrainer les équipages aux vols longs avec convoyage aller-retour.


Dans un second temps, les pilotes français et américains se sont entrainés à une série de missions conjointes :

    Air Interdiction (AI), c’est-à-dire pénétration en territoire hostile ;

    Close Air Support (CAS) désigne l’utilisation d’avion d’attaque au sol ou d’hélicoptères d’attaque pour appuyer des troupes ;

    Personnel Recovery (PR) ou récupération de personnel ;

    Composite Air Operations (COMA), lorsqu’un dispositif complexe d’aéronefs différents réalise des missions à plusieurs objectifs.


Un C135 a assuré le ravitaillement en vol des quinze aéronefs participants, avec parfois jusqu’à deux à trois ravitaillements sur un même vol.


La diversité des thèmes de l’exercice « Monfreid » et l’environnement particulier de Djibouti ont permis aux équipages français et américains d’approfondir leurs connaissances et leurs techniques respectives, de parfaire la coordination et la coopération entre les éléments, et enfin, d’évaluer leurs capacités dans des missions longues et exigeantes.


Les FFDj effectuent régulièrement des exercices conjoints avec les forces américaines présentes à Djibouti. Ainsi, les militaires américains peuvent profiter des installations d’entraînement des FFDj, notamment le centre d’entraînement au combat et d’aguerrissement de Djibouti (CECAD). Enfin, les états-majors des FFDj et de la Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) se réunissent régulièrement afin de coordonner l’ensemble de leurs activités à Djibouti.


Les forces françaises stationnées à Djibouti (FFDj) constituent depuis 2011 la base opérationnelle avancée française sur la côte Est de l’Afrique. Les FFDj participent au dispositif militaire français pré positionné permettant de disposer d’un réservoir de forces pouvant être projetées rapidement en cas de crise. Dans le cadre des accords de partenariat de défense entre la République de Djibouti et la France, les FFDj constituent l’un des cinq pôles de coopération de la France en Afrique. A ce titre, elles assurent des missions de coopération militaire avec les forces armées djiboutiennes, mais aussi avec les instances de la force africaine en attente en Afrique de l’Est. Parmi leurs missions, les FFDj apportent également un soutien logistique et opérationnel aux moyens aériens et navals français et étrangers engagés dans le cadre de la force européenne de lutte contre la piraterie.

FFDj : exercice aérien franco-américain
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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Lockheed Martin and the Office of Naval Research Demonstrate Airborne Autonomy Technology


NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., April 7, 2014 – Lockheed Martin


System provides vehicle agnostic capability for current and future missions


As autonomous technologies continue to develop and grow within the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) successfully demonstrated the Lockheed Martin OPTIMUS mission system’s ability to accomplish an autonomous approach and landing in an unprepared environment. The system enhances the onboard intelligence of the vehicle and provides an advanced mission planning capability that can be applied to current and future helicopters and rotary wing aircraft.

The Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) demonstration tested Lockheed Martin OPTIMUS technology aboard a K-MAX unmanned helicopter, which served as a test bed for the system. During the demonstration, an active duty Marine interfaced with the mission system’s handheld flight control device to complete a resupply mission. The system successfully planned, routed and executed the mission without requiring user input.

“The Lockheed Martin OPTIMUS suite of systems and sensors use an open architecture positioned for Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) compliance, which applies and adapts both legacy and future mission systems to airborne assets,” said Roger Il Grande, director of Airborne Systems Programs for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “As we continue to operate on a fast-moving battlefield, additional mission modules can be added or removed without costly overhauls to the system, providing an advanced, flexible capability for the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy.”

Lockheed Martin OPTIMUS primes aircraft for operations in austere environments or terrains, and allows users to execute missions day and night, in all weather conditions. Additionally, the system adds a multi-layer world model and active sensor control to enhance onboard perception and understanding for missions in which operators have limited or no knowledge of the location.

In addition to military applications, Lockheed Martin OPTIMUS can be used on commercial platforms for forestry and construction, pipelining, and firefighting missions because it can reach areas without improved roads, work around-the-clock, and provide valuable situational awareness to its operators.

With more than five decades experience in unmanned and robotic systems, Lockheed Martin offers multiple solutions for air, land and sea. From the depths of the ocean to the rarified air of the stratosphere, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Better Survival Vests Coming to Navy, Marine Aircrews

The Navy's redesigned aircrew vest, in a new color and with better protection, will be distributed fleetwide by 2016 (Navy)


Apr. 8, 2014 - By Meghann Myers – Defense News


Aircrews will soon be outfitted with safer aircrew vests.


The new vest boasts more coverage of vital organs, a snugger fit and a better color, Dan Ratcliff, the aircrew systems program manager for Naval Air Systems Command, explained in a presentation Tuesday at the Sea-Air-Space expo outside Washington, D.C.


“When we started the operations in the desert, we were all wearing sage green,” Ratcliff said, referring to the forest green color of the legacy aircrew vests. “Sage green works great in the jungle, but if you put it in the desert, it’s not so good.”


With the purchase of tan flight suits came tan flight gear, which didn’t always work, he said, and couldn’t adapt to wooded or jungle environments.


So NAVAIR came up with “coyote brown,” a hue that camouflages in forests and deserts.


The fielding has started with Marine fliers at Medium Tiltrotor Squadrons 261, 264, 266 and 635, as well as Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269. The new vests are on track to go fleet-wide by 2016.


The vest worn over the flight suit is designed to fit a multitude of body shapes, Ratcliff said, while reducing the fatigue that comes from moving around in a roomy vest. For added comfort, the armored back plate can be removed while seated.


The hard armor in the vest is the same Small Arts Protective Insert ceramic plates used by the Army and Marine Corps, and the soft armor is custom-made, he added.


The vest comes in seated and mobile aircrew models. For mobile aircrew, an 80-foot tether allows crew members to move around in flight, but comes with a quick-disconnection release for emergencies.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 16:20
Les trois versions différentes du F-35 - photo  Lockheed Martin

Les trois versions différentes du F-35 - photo Lockheed Martin


07/04/2014 par François Julian – Air & Cosmos


C'est inédit dans l'histoire du F-35 de Lockheed Martin : le coût total du programme Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aurait baissé l'an dernier, si l'on en croit les estimations du GAO, la cour des comptes américaine. Selon un rapport publié récemment, le coût de revient du F-35, pour le contribuable américain, serait passé de 343,8 Md$ pour l'année fiscale 2013, à 332,3 Md$ pour l'année fiscale en cours. Ces montants incluent la mise au point des trois versions du F-35 et l'acquisition de 2443 machines de série, pour les besoins de l'US Air Force, l'US Navy et les Marines.


Le GAO ne détaille pas avec précision ce calcul, ni la raison de cette baisse de coût. Pour autant, il semble que cela soit le résultat de la restructuration du programme entamée en 2012, visant à rationaliser l'ensemble des coûts, à la fois de développement et de production.


Dans rapport séparé, le GAO donne également une estimation du cout unitaire de chacune des versions de l'avion. Le prix du F-35A (version conventionnelle) est évalué à 124,8 M€, celui du F-35B (version à décollage court et atterrissage vertical) est de 156,8 M$, et celui du F-35C (version embarquée) est de 142,6 M$. A l'horizon 2019, il est prévu de faire baisser le prix du F-35A aux alentours de 80 M$, celui du F-35B à un peu moins de 110 M$ et celui du F-35C à environ 90 M$.


Le GAO maintient tout de même l'alerte sur le programme F-35  : si ce dernier ne connait plus de dérapage budgétaire et calendaire, l'inquiétude demeure sur l'avancement de la mise au point du logiciel faisant fonctionner l’avionique de bord. De même, il n'est pas impossible que le programme JSF ait à subir des coupes budgétaires, le Pentagone ayant sur le bras d'autres programmes d'aéronefs très couteux, comme par exemple le ravitailleurs KC-46A ou bien encore le très mystérieux nouveau bombardier LRS-B.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Robocopter: New Technology Brings New Capabilities to the Marine Corps


Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : US Navy


Autonomy options for the Marines have taken a major step forward, as officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced today two successful helicopter flight demonstrations with unmanned flight capability at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., part of the Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) program.


AACUS will enable the Marine Corps to rapidly resupply forces on the front lines using cutting-edge technology sponsored by ONR. The system consists of a sensor and software package that will be integrated into rotary wing aircraft to detect and avoid obstacles in unfavorable weather conditions, or to enable autonomous, unmanned flight. The capability will be a welcome alternative to dangerous convoys, manned aircraft or air drops in all weather conditions.


Read more

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6 avril 2014 7 06 /04 /avril /2014 19:20
New US Marine Concept Re-establishes Maritime Roots


Apr. 6, 2014 - By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS  - Defense News


WASHINGTON — The US Marine Corps is in a period of transition, working to reconstitute itself as a sea-based fighting force after more than a decade of fighting land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Corps is rolling out Expeditionary Force 21 (EF 21), a new construct intended to organize its forces to deploy and respond worldwide to whatever need it’s assigned to.


Key to the new plan is the Expeditionary Warfare Branch in OPNAV, the offices reporting directly to the US Navy’s chief of naval operations. As the N95 director, Maj. Gen. Robert Walsh is charged with determining and assessing the requirements for amphibious, mine and naval special warfare missions.


Q. What is EF 21?

A. EF 21 leverages a lot of the concepts we had earlier on, like operational maneuver from the sea, ship to objective maneuver. We have not had a concept like EF 21 since we had the Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025, which came out in 2008. That 2008 document was written heavily grounded in irregular warfare, it was in the heart of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. EF 21 is kind of coming back more to our maritime roots.

One of the key things in any aspirational vision is to project out to the future. To be able to start to develop and design capabilities, operating concepts and how they’ll work. The fleet getting out there and doing war gaming, experimentation, trying new things. How do we take proven concepts and make them work better by laying down what the aspirational vision would look like, then start designing what those capabilities would be able to do.

You start taking a look at the ships we have, being able to network in a much different way than we would have networked those ships in in the past. Our connecter strategy on being able to get the forces ashore using our sea-basing capabilities and where we want to go with that. The ability to operate away from shore in a disaggregated fashion, be able to quickly come together, it’s some of this operational design we’re taking into consideration.


Q. Is what you have today what you need to be able to do these things? Or is this something that is aspirational?

A. If we were given a mission, we’d use all the capabilities we have within the Navy and Marine Corps team to try to come together and execute that mission. We’ve got pretty solid capabilities. What I would argue is some of our concepts of operations are things we just haven’t looked at for a long time. When you’re focused on irregular warfare and operations in Afghanistan and Iraq for the last 10 to 12 years, you really haven’t had a renaissance in maritime thinking to try to get after these sort of issues.

Getting back into the maritime domain, we don’t know where we’re going to be at any one time in the chaos that’s throughout the world. It could be as we try to rebalance to the Pacific, we also have a new normal throughout the Middle East, Africa, that we’ve got to deal with. What’s our mission today as we start evolving?


Q. The traditional seagoing deployment structure of the Marine Corps and Navy has long been the Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) and the three-ship amphibious ready group (ARG), composed of a big-deck assault ship, an LPD amphibious transport dock and an LSD landing ship dock. EF-21 discusses the need to be able to split up or disaggregate the MEU during deployments. Is there thought being given to developing alternatives to the traditional MEU-ARG deployment structure?

A. Part of the expeditionary nature of the Navy and Marine Corps team [is] being able to quickly deploy, be forward deployed, come together quickly to be an enabler for the joint force. The EF 21 piece has these special-purpose Marine air-ground task forces (MAGTFs). It’s got the MEUs. It also focuses more on a Marine expeditionary brigade structure, a major piece of which is aggregation. So being forward deployed means land-based, it means being the special-purpose MAGTFs, it’s our ships that are forward deployed, and also the ability to surge more ships. It’s taking whatever we have available to us and using it.

On the ARG and MEU, we have done this for many years where our ARG/MEU would go into a certain area of operations and conduct what we call doctrinally split-ARG operations. We train to operate as an ARG/MEU that works together as a three-ship ARG, and we deploy together, then we get over to theater and we get forced because of the problems that are out there to end up splitting.

So the split part would generally be how we define those split operations. You’re still working underneath the ARG/MEU commanders. They’re able to maintain control, but they’re in different locations. They’ve disaggregated, and in some cases, they’re operating under different combatant commanders, as in Operation Odyssey Dawn off Libya in 2011. The 26th MEU was doing contingency operations in the Red Sea, waiting for potential non-combatant evacuation missions or embassy reinforcement in Egypt or Lebanon, or potentially conducting piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Operating under two separate combatant commanders, where that ARG/MEU commander, there was no way he was going to be able to keep control over that.

I think we’re under the realization that this is the way of the future. Because of that, we’re writing a concept of employment to disaggregate those ARG/MEUs. That will now be a tool set our amphibious forces will be able to read, understand, train to, and then be in a much better position to operate in a disaggregated manner.


Q. The LPD 17 San Antonio-class ships were designed specifically with disaggregated operations in mind, featuring enhanced command-and-control (C2) facilities and defensive systems. LX(R), the LSD replacement design, looks like it will be a much more austere version of LPD 17, not nearly as capable of independent operations. Are those factors figuring into the thinking about what an ARG/MEU can do?

A. Absolutely. When you compare LPD 17, even to our big-deck LHD assault ships, you’re seeing in some cases better capability than we have on the mother ship — not only is it a nice thing to have within your ARG, it also allows you to operate even as a single ship deployer. The LPD 17s have some of the best C2 capabilities in the amphib force. LPD 17 is very successful.

That said, we don’t really know today exactly where we’re going with LX(R). There are a number of different options we’re looking at in the analysis of alternatives. One of them was looking at an LPD 17 hull form that would be a different ship, but leverage some of the capabilities. That makes a lot of sense from a standpoint of commonality and affordability. We’re trying to get the affordability piece right, make sure we’re not increasing cost by trying to drive in increased requirements, and by working with industry to design in some of that affordability.

You start looking at the way those shipbuilding industries have moved out in designing for affordability with surface ships and submarines. They use a lot of higher technology to design in affordability; to be able to integrate, be more collaborative with the government in designing systems, more than we’ve been able to do in the amphib side. We’re not there. If we’re going to really drive down cost in the amphib fleet, we’ve got to be able to use somebody’s collaborative design tools that we have not used before. We’ve been in the 20th century where they’ve moved on to the 21st century.

As we kind of move into that LX(R) piece, we don’t necessarily want that thing to be tucked in with the mother ship, never can go and operate independently. So we did an operational planning team with the fleet. Both the Navy and the Marine Corps down in Norfolk, about two months ago, brought them all together and said let’s rack and stack all the capabilities that we think the LX(R) will need. One of the things that became clear was that independent operations are going to be a key part of that. So what are the right command-and-control capabilities? What are the right surface connector capabilities? Cargo is a piece of that.

LSDs now have two landing spots, but they don’t have a hangar on them. If you’re going to conduct independent operations, you’re going to need to have a maintenance detachment to bring that aircraft into a hangar and conduct maintenance. Otherwise, they’re just landing spots tied to the LPD or the LX(R). To be truly independent, the fleet decided, we need to have that capability.

As a resource sponsor, where I start to get nervous is when you start giving it to the fleet guys, and they’re going to look at all kinds of requirements that are going to add cost to your standard LSD truck. That’s where we’re looking at some cost trades — what are those things that if we design in new capabilities like new command and control, to be able to conduct independent operations, new hangar capability to be able to do aviation capabilities to support independent operations, where would those trades come from?

Those are some of the things we’re looking at, such as survivability trades. How can we drive in better survivability to be able to drive down cost? We looked at things like speed. If you come off the speed requirements of the ship by only 2 knots, you reduce cost tremendously. So those are some of those trades that we’re looking at to be able to get independent capability, what could we trade out? At the end of the day, affordability is going to be a major driver in this. We have got to do everything we possibly can to make that ship affordable.


Q. There is a great deal of talk about alternative platforms for operations, basing and theater security operations. The mobile landing platform (MLP) and its afloat forward staging base (AFSB) derivative are two platforms frequently discussed. Where do these new ship types stand today?

A. This piece with alternative platforms has been very interesting to watch within the Navy and the Marine Corps. Those alternative platforms really aren’t different — it’s using vessels we already have for sea basing or developing them in alternative ways. These ships have to go into harm’s way just like any other Navy ship that’s part of the battle force, and to be able to, in a lot of ways, conduct some very high-end missions, in some cases the closest to the threat, as they come in to conduct amphibious operations.

So the Marines’ concern with that is hey, wait a minute. We don’t want to take a ship and replace a warship with an alternative platform to do the mission. So what we started seeing is we started getting into the concept development. The chief of naval operations has been pushing us to look at all the different ships that we’ve got.

With some of these — T-AKE dry cargo ammunition ships, LMSR large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ships, the MLP — how can we use them so they’re not just sitting there waiting for the big one to occur? How can we use them on a more routine basis? Another piece of that is the joint high speed vessel, looked at initially as a cargo-passenger mover. Now we’re looking at it to use it in many different ways, in many different vignettes.

The MLP has a lot of capabilities. We’re looking at what other incremental capabilities we could put on that ship. Things like berthing capabilities, can we get utility landing craft aboard, could we get aircraft on board?

The AFSB is another example of how we moved in another direction very quickly. Looking at the [interim conversion ship] Ponce, we took an LPD and put it out there for both mine countermeasures mission along with special ops capability missions. That’s an old LPD, where we don’t know how many more years that it’s got on it, but it’s certainly given that mine countermeasures mission a mother ship to work from. That’s a requirement we have today, to be able to operate our MCM capabilities off that.

The CNO’s got us looking at the Ponce and determining if we really want to decommission that ship after we put some significant effort into it, in money, and we’re seeing this increased demand for AFSBs across the globe. And as we bring more AFSBs, we’re not sure whether that’s going to necessarily stay there in 5th Fleet or the Ponce would stay there, or whether we may keep all three and use them in different ways.

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5 avril 2014 6 05 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
photo USMC

photo USMC


Apr. 4, 2014  Business Insider


In a bid to increase the Marine Corps' crisis-response ability, the Corps is experimenting with using tablets to provide troops with real-time intelligence, the Marine Corps Times reports.


Marines will be using Samsung tablets that wirelessly connect through an encrypted internal wifi network hosted on a MV-22 Osprey. The Samsung tablets are standard off-the-shelf technology that have not been modified for combat use.

Read more


Photo gallery: Marine Corps’ mobile warriors

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:40
US Sends More Marines to Romania, DDG to Black Sea

April 3, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Department of Defense; issued April 2, 2014)


U.S. Sends More Marines to Romania, Navy Vessel to Black Sea


WASHINGTON --- The Defense Department is deploying additional Marines to enlarge a rotational crisis response force based in Spain, and is also dispatching a naval vessel to the Black Sea to conduct exercises with U.S. allies in the region, a Pentagon spokesman said today.


Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters that 175 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., will augment the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response force based at Moron Air Base, Spain.


“We’re increasing the number from 500 to 675,” Warren said, adding that the move had been planned since late last year.


The expeditionary force falls under U.S. Africa Command but can be deployed anywhere. It enables the United States to conduct a range of military operations including non-combatant evacuations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as well as support for U.S. embassies.


While the additional Marines will be part of the Spain-based force, Warren said they are being stationed in Romania to allow greater flexibility. They will join nearly 300 Marines already in the country who are part of the Black Sea rotational force.


Warren emphasized the decision to send the additional Marines to Romania is not related to developments in Ukraine. However, he also announced that a U.S. Navy vessel is heading to the Black Sea for exercises to reassure American allies of the U.S. commitment to the region. That move, he said, is a direct result of the current situation in Ukraine. Warren did not rule out a role for the vessel in exercises with the Ukrainian military.


The announcement came a day after Warren said senior U.S defense officials were in Kiev for discussions with Ukrainian officials on defense cooperation and regional security.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
DoD Sends Congress $36B Wish List, But Passage Unlikely

The US Air Force requested 12 General Atomics Reapers in the unfunded list.


Apr. 3, 2014 - By MARCUS WEISGERBER  - Defense News


WASHINGTON — The US military services have sent Congress wish lists that include $36 billion in priority items that were not included in the Pentagon’s 2015 budget proposal.

But actual passage of the lists seems unlikely.

The lists are very similar to the White House’s Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative (OGSI), which includes $26 billion in defense items not included in the Defense Department’s $496 billion spending request.

Some of the overlap items include:

■ Two Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighters ($372 million).

■ 10 Air Force Lockheed C-130Js, five MC-130J and five HC-130J variants ($1 billion).

■ 12 General Atomics Reapers ($192 million).

■ Eight Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft ($1.1 billion)

■ Two Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters, according to Bloomberg (about $100 million).

■ 28 Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters, according to Bloomberg (about $500 million).

■ One Northrop Grumman E-2D command-and-control plane ($146 million).

■ One Lockheed KC-130J tanker for the Marine Corps ($75 million).

But the service wish lists include other procurement items, including:

■ $200 million for the Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter program.

■ $2.1 billion for 22 Boeing EA-18 Growler jamming aircraft for the Navy.

■ $720 million for 10 C-130J for the Air National Guard.

■ $1 billion for six F-35, five F-35Cs and one F-35B for the Marine Corps.

The wish lists also include tens of billions of dollars for upgrades, maintenance and construction projects, that have been reduced or deferred due to lower defense spending levels imposed by defense budget caps or cuts by sequestration.

Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, requested the lists from the services this year. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army National Guard and Air National Guard all sent the list to him this week. Defense News obtained all of the lists except the Army’s.

The top lines figures for each wish list are:

■ Army, $10.6 billion, according to Bloomberg.

■ Navy, $10.6 billion.

■ Marine Corps, $2.5 billion.

■ Air Force, $8 billion.

■ Army National Guard, $1.5 billion.

■ Air National Guard, $2.6 billion.

But the chances of any of the items in these wish lists and OGSI getting approved is slim, since defense spending is capped at $496 billion.

“It is not going to happen,” said Gordon Adams, a Stimson Center analyst who ran defense budgeting during the Clinton administration.

During a roundtable with reporters on Thursday, McKeon was asked what kind of chance the $26 billion OSGI had of passage. He made a “zero” gesture with his fingers.

“We already did the budget this year,” he said.

Lawmakers are unwilling to renegotiate the spending caps established in the two-year budget deal struck late last year by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Adams said.

“This is political three-ring circus, but it’s not budgeting,” Adams said. “The thing that really concerns me about it is that it totally undermines planning discipline in the Pentagon.”

DoD submitted a five-year spending plan to Congress that exceeds the spending caps between 2016 and 2019 by $115 billion.

The wish lists submitted to Congress this week — called unfunded priorities or unfunded requirements — were a flashback to last decade when the services would send lawmakers lists totaling tens-of-billions of dollars.

At its high point, the Air Force submitted a $20 billion wish list of items desired by service brass, at a time when military spending, already at an all-time high.

Then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates truncated the lists substantially during his tenure at the Pentagon to the point where they were no longer produced in 2013.

Unlike in prior years, the National Guard submitted unfunded lists this year.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Marine Corps Scraps Tracks for Amphibious Combat Vehicle



April 4, 2014 by Bryant Jordan defensetech.org

The Marine Corps is walking away from the high-speed Amphibious Combat Vehicle it envisioned – at least for the time being – but Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos said a wheeled version will have to do in this budget environment.

“We elected to switch and go to a wheeled vehicle,” Amos said on April 1 during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. “These are commercial off-the-shelf … they’re already being made by several different manufacturers.”

Unlike the planned ACV, the vehicle the Corps now calls the ACV 1.1 will not be able to deploy quickly from ship to shore from up to 12 miles out and it will not move on treads once landed. But what makes it a sound alternative is that the Corps already has other means to deploy it over water rapidly, Amos said. And the fact it will move on wheels makes it more survivable in a combat theatre.

Following it’s now cancelled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the Marine Corps seem to have abandoned efforts to quickly develop an amphibious vehicle that can both swim at what the Corps calls high water speeds of 13 to 15 knots and survive substantial land threats once ashore. Instead, the Corps plans to field a less-ambitious interim vehicle and simultaneously work on research and development aimed at reaching the desired combination of attributes for the future , senior leaders have said.

And then there’s the cost. Amos said the 300 ACV 1.1s he anticipates buying will cost about $3 million to $4.5 million each. The original ACV, the Corps had envisioned, would have cost between $12 million and $14 million each, he said.

“It’s the way to go, and they are highly mobile, and that’s the direction we’re going,” Amos said.

It does not appear that the Corps thinks it is technically feasible or cost-effective to attempt quick delivery of a vehicle that can both swim at faster speeds for ship to shore missions and also function as a sufficiently survivable land vehicle.

The ACV, as initially conceived, would be able to swim to shore from as far out as 12 miles. While the ACV 1.1 will not do that, Amos said the Corps’ fleet of connectors can. These include some 81Landing Craft Air Cushions, or LCACs, that are capable of transporting up to 150,000 pounds and as many as 180 Marines. Powered by four gas-turbine engines and two four-bladed propellers, the LCACs can travel over water, ice, snow, sand and tundra.

Additionally, Amos told lawmakers during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, the Corps has two Joint High Speed Vehicles currently out at sea and another eight under contract.

“Those will go fast, they will haul a lot of Marines and vehicles,” he said. “That gives us the ability to maneuver from a sea base that could be pushed out as far as 100 miles because of an enemy threat.”

“So what we’ve done is we’ve changed the paradigm in the way we thought, in that we have to swim all that way in our amphibious combat vehicle,” he said. “Well, it’s impractical now. Can we get on a connector, and the connector take us in? And the answer is yes.”

Amos still plans for the Corps to get the ACV it originally wanted. That’s now called ACV 1.2.

Amos said he came to the tough decision a few months ago to scrap original plans for the ACV. What made it more difficult is that just two years earlier the Corps called it quits on the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle after spending about 15 years and more than $3 billion in research, development and testing.

Amos has not identified the companies who may compete for the ACV 1.1 contract, though in the past Lockheed, General Dynamics and BAE Systems have done so, according to Manny Pacheco, a spokesman for the Corps’s Program Executive Office Land Systems Equipment Modernization.

Pacheco said an RFI for the ACV 1.1 is still a few months off.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 17:20
GD Wins $75M for Cougar Survivability Upgrade

April 1, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: General Dynamics Land Systems; issued April 1, 2014)


General Dynamics Awarded $75 Million for Cougar Survivability Upgrade Program


STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. --- The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va., has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems – Force Protection a contract valued at $74.7 million for egress upgrade kits in support of the Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) program.


The company will develop, design and produce 916 egress kits for the Cougar vehicles. The kits will include upgrades to the Cougar's front doors, rear doors, rear steps and exhaust system. General Dynamics will complete delivery of the kits by September 2015.


General Dynamics Land Systems – Force Protection is part of General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics .

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Choppy East China Seas



4/1/2014 Strategy Page


EAST CHINA SEA (March 30, 2014) An MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard is assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group Seven and is participating in Exercise Ssang Yong, an annual combined exercise conducted by Navy and Marine forces with the Republic of Korea in order to strengthen interoperability across the range of military operations. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christian Senyk)

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
US Marines Test LAV-AT Anti-tank Modernization Upgrade


March 31st, 2014 By USMarines - defencetalk.com


Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle Anti-Tank prototypes are in the midst of developmental tests of upgrades that could extend their lives for decades to come. The modernization program is taking shape at various sites throughout the country.


Development of the LAV-ATs has already successfully met threshold testing as four of the prototypes have fired 14 missiles at government facilities. In mid-March, the vehicles were put through a swim test and landing craft air cushion tests at the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch at Camp Pendleton, Calif.


“The LAV-AT modernization program is designed to improve mission effectiveness and supportability for Marines,” said Col. Mark Brinkman, LAV program manager.


Embedded in their original design, LAVs combine speed, maneuverability and firepower to perform a variety of functions, including security, command and control, reconnaissance and assault.


“They can operate on land and in water, carry communications equipment and provide a weapons platform,” Brinkman said. “The LAV isn’t just part of a combined arms force—it is one.”


In upcoming tests, the LAV-ATs will engage in electromagnetic environmental effects developmental tests at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and reliability, availability and maintainability, and performance tests at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz.


“The LAV has proved its worth since initial fielding in 1983,” Brinkman said. “The Marine Corps is committed to ensuring this platform remains viable until at least 2035.”


With the LAV’s future role for the Marine Corps in mind, government developmental tests started in December 2013. As of March 2014, no significant issues have surfaced. An operational assessment will follow developmental testing in late 2014. The initial production contract is expected to be awarded in September 2015.


In April 2012, the Marine Corps through Program Manager LAV awarded a contract to develop and integrate an anti-tank weapon system on four LAV-ATs.


The new anti-tank weapon system, or ATWS, will fire the Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided/radio frequency family of missiles. The system uses the Modified Improved Target Acquisition System for sighting and fire-control functions.


The new ATWS turret system will provide an enhanced capability over the existing sighting system, according to Brinkman. It will provide a second-generation forward looking infra-red, far target location and ability to acquire targets on the move. The ATWS system will have commonality with the already fielded Saber system to increase supportability and readiness in the field.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
MV-22B Ospreys Photo by Capt. Lauren Schulz

MV-22B Ospreys Photo by Capt. Lauren Schulz


April 01, 2014 Spacewar.com (AFP)


Bucharest - Romania has approved an increase in American troops at its military airbase on the Black Sea as Washington continues to shift its main transit base for Afghanistan away from Kyrgyzstan, a report said Tuesday.


Romanian President Traian Basescu sent a letter to parliament approving the US request for 600 more troops at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airport in the southeast of the country, the Agerpres news agency said.


"The request... refers to the deployment of a unit of Marines called the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response, with up to 600 soldiers and a number of military aircraft needed to fulfil specific missions," the letter said.


The US is due to abandon by July the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan that has been the main transit point for its military personnel and cargo in and out of Afghanistan, after the Kyrgyz government refused to extend the lease last year.


The Mihail Kogalniceanu base, where around 1,000 troops are currently stationed, is due to become the main transit point as the US prepares for a major withdrawal of forces and equipment from Afghanistan later this year.


The US inaugurated the new transit centre in February.


Between 20,000 and 30,000 troops are expected to transfer through the base on their way back from Afghanistan this year.

US increases troops at Afghan transit base in Romania
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1 avril 2014 2 01 /04 /avril /2014 16:20
Lighting Up The Night



3/21/2014 Strategy Page


Marines with tank platoon, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines (BLT 2/1), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire the M256 smoothbore gun of an M1A1 Abrams tank on static targets during Realistic Urban Training Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise 14-1 (RUTMEUEX) at Camp Roberts, Calif., March 20, 2014. RUTMEUEX will prepare the 11th MEU Marines for their upcoming deployment, enhancing Marines' combat skills in environments similar to those they may find in future missions. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Rome M. Lazarus)

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30 mars 2014 7 30 /03 /mars /2014 07:35
U.S. Commander Worried About Lack Of Amphibious Capability In The Pacific


March 26, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


The Stars and Stripes is reporting that the top U.S. commander in the Pacific region is claiming that the U.S. Navy and Marines do not have enough assets to carry out a contested amphibious operation in the Pacific if a crisis arises.


More from Stars and Stripes:

As the war in Afghanistan winds down, Marine Corps leaders want the service to return to its roots of being a force that can attack enemies from the sea, as the Marines did frequently during World War II. But Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the capability does not presently exist in his area of responsibility.

“We have had a good return of our Marines back to the Asia-Pacific, particularly as the activities in the Middle East wind down in Afghanistan … But the reality is, is that to get Marines around effectively, they require all types of lift. They require the big amphibious ships, but they also require connectors (meaning landing craft landing craft and other amphibious vehicles). The lift is the enabler that makes that happen, so we wouldn’t be able to [successfully carry out a contested amphibious assault without additional resources].”

His remarks come at a time when there are growing concerns in Japan and elsewhere that China might try occupy the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The islands are under Japanese administrative control, but China has claimed sovereignty over them.


Full story here


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25 mars 2014 2 25 /03 /mars /2014 12:35
Les USA augmentent la présence de leurs Marines en Australie


25.03.2014 Par La Voix de la Russie


Les Etats-Unis se proposent d'envoyer 1 150 nouveaux Marines à leur base en Australie. Ceux-ci se joindront à 200 militaires déjà déployés dans la base de la ville de Darwin.


Les Marines doivent arriver en Australie au début d'avril. Les Etats-Unis vont également transférer 4 hélicoptères de transport CH-53E et une centaines de techniciens chargés de leur entretien.


Au total 2 500 Marines seront déployés en Australie d'ici 2017 dans le cadre du programme de Washington visant à accroître sa présence militaire en Asie-Pacifique.

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19 mars 2014 3 19 /03 /mars /2014 08:20
LM Delivers 1st KC-130J Super Hercules Tanker To US Marine Corps Reserve



Mar 18, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation


The first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker assigned to a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve squadron was ferried today from the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] facility located here. This KC-130J is assigned to the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 (VMGR-234) stationed at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas.


The aircraft will be welcomed with a formal ceremony on March 18, in Texas, where it is the first KC-130J tanker to be stationed in the state. NAS Fort Worth JRB shares a runway with Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics headquarters location in Fort Worth.


“Since the early 1960s, U.S. Marine Corps teams have operated the KC-130 and showcased the Hercules’ unparalleled capabilities as both a flexible tactical airlifter and vital tanker resource. This new KC-130J provides VMGR-234 crews with added power, strength and flexibility to support the highly critical missions they are depended upon to perform,” said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, C-130 Programs. “The arrival of the KC-130J Super Hercules in Fort Worth represents the start of a new era of Hercules history and we are honored to extend this tradition of Hercules flight with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.”


VMGR-234 is a part of Marine Aircraft Group 41 (MAG-41), 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (4th MAW). Its crew and aircraft provide aerial refueling capabilities and air transport of personnel, equipment and supplies. The squadron, known as the “Rangers,” has operated KC-130s for more than 30 years, using the aircraft for missions during the Gulf War and Operation Enduring Freedom in addition to providing humanitarian support around the world. The squadron previously operated KC-130Fs and most recently, KC-130Ts.


The KC-130J is the global leader in aerial refueling for both tactical aircraft and helicopters, and it is also capable of conducting rapid ground refueling. The battle-tested KC-130J aerial refueling tanker is the latest in a long lineage of C-130 Hercules tanker technology. The new KC-130J builds on proven tanker designs while taking full advantage of tremendous technological and performance improvements inherent in the basic C-130J aircraft. KC-130Js operated by U.S. Marine Corps active duty crews contributed to the worldwide C-130 fleet’s initial 1 million flight hours.


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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 08:35
U.S. Marines Experimenting With Unmanned Ground Vehicles – UGVs Could Be Headed To Afghanistan

The Mobile Detection Assessment Response System surveys the area around the expeditionary airfield at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Feb. 6. (Cpl. D.J. Wu / Marine Corps)


March 9, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


The Marine Corps Times is reporting that the Corps is experimenting with a new unmanned ground vehicle that can patrol installations and detect intruders or potential enemy forces nearly a mile away.


More from the Marine Corps Times:


The Mobile Detection Assessment Response System, or MDARS, was used in late January to successfully secure an air base during the latest Integrated Training Exercise — the final predeployment workup all units conduct at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. The vehicle could be headed to Afghanistan, according to its developers, although concrete plans have not been made.


A field demonstration of MDARS began Jan. 30 at the combat center’s Camp Wilson. The vehicle successfully aided members of Marine Aircraft Group 13 and Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 to patrol the area immediately surrounding their airfield as a mock enemy force tried to probe their defenses.


During the first night, the vehicle was autonomously navigating around the base — by heading to predetermined waypoints — when guards in one tower detected two potential enemy soldiers, said Pat Culliton, the MDARS program manager with San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.


“We were operating between two towers and one of the towers reported some activity,” Culliton said. “From the operator control station you just click a button and say go there.”


Full story here

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